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High hopes and high expectations for resourcing feminist movements: recommendations to the Equality Fund

Power. Money. Accountability. Sustainability. What do these terms mean when you think about funding for feminist activism?

Over the last year, AWID asked feminist activists from around the world to share their hopes and visions for the new Equality Fund, a new CAD$300-million model to fund women’s rights and feminist movements. 

In independent global consultations, we engaged with more than 1,000 activists from over 60 countries and learned firsthand what our movements need and want to resource their organizing. 

Read AWID’s report, High Hopes & Expectations: Feminist Movement Recommendations to the Equality Fund, to see how activists themselves define what is needed in this moment and how funders can support feminist realities in all their richness, boldness and diversity.

Download the report to Equality Fund

Add your voice

Inspired by the findings, we invite you to raise your voice and be part of the groundswell of activists defining for themselves the resources they need to build bold feminist movements -- now and far into the future. 
See others’ videos and ideas on what funders can do to meet the moment. And your own!

Join the conversation

About the Equality Fund recommendations report

Starting in mid-2019, the Equality Fund reached out to AWID to conduct independent consultations to help build a feminist fund that lives up to its potential to be a transformative, responsive and accountable resource to support feminist social change. One of the most comprehensive consultations of its kind, the process included regional in-person gatherings, online sessions and outreach to feminist activists across issues and languages. 

AWID played a leading role convening activists, documenting their input, and developing this report. As part of its accountability to movements, the Equality Fund will issue a formal public response to the recommendations presented in this report in late 2020. 

Although the process was aimed at the Equality Fund, the report is highly relevant to any other funder considering new ways forward for resourcing feminist movements. It is also a useful resource for activists, who seek to influence and shift the current funding ecosystem.

Top-line recommendations:

In the report you will find detailed recommendations around the Equality Fund’s three key strategies:

  • grant-making for feminist movements
  • gender impact investing
  • philanthropy

The report also includes recommendations on the forms of governance that embed true feminist accontability.

Recommendations on grant-making:

  • Allocate a greater percentage of funding to feminist grant-making in the first 3 years of the Equality Fund operations

  • Uphold intersectional feminist principles in all funding

  • Ensure that funding is accessible for feminists working across different contexts and at multiple levels

  • Embrace participatory grant-making and movements’ leadership in decision making and distribution of funding

  • Move forward with feminist approaches to Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEL)

Recommendations on investments:

  • Reassess—and reconfigure—the balance of investments to grants

  • Develop a feminist Theory of Change (TOC) that guides all investment strategies and portfolios

  • Boldly set standards for investments that uphold feminist principles in the short- and long-term

  • Build in accountability to feminist movements in investment governance and monitoring

  • Work to shift the investment field and support feminist movements’ influencing agenda

Recommendations on philanthropy:

  • Hold onto the Equality Fund’s feminist identity

  • Strategically leverage resources mobilized from philanthropy to top up and extend Equality Fund grant-making portfolio

  • Embrace the Equality Fund’s respective place in the feminist funding ecosystem: share power and support other women’s and feminist funds

  • Engage with philanthropic advocacy to shift the sector and mobilize more feminist funding

Recommendations on governance & accountability:

  • Develop and embrace holistic accountability across all areas of the Equality Fund

  • Put accountability to feminist movements first

  • Ensure intersectional feminist leadership in all Equality Fund governance structures


Take action!

For Funders

  • Take up these recommendations to design and build your own funding programmes for women’s rights and feminist movements

  • Organize meaningful consultations to inform your resourcing policies and practices

  • Ue the findings to advocate with other funders to resource feminist social change

For Activists

  • Be part of the dialogue! What does funding for feminist change mean to you? Share a video, image or demand and see what others have to say!

  • Use these recommendations in your own resourcing advocacy 

  • Claim your voice and seat at the table 

  • Interrogate funders resourcing strategies, including around investments: don’t shy away from learning, asking, and pushing 

All: Share the Report!

We need #FeministFunding for feminist social change around the world. 
Read the recommendations from @awid global consultations with feminist activists!  ➤

What is the Equality Fund?

Launched in June 2019 with CAD $300 million from the Government of Canada, the Equality Fund brings together eleven organizations working across sectors.

Led by the former MATCH International Women’s Fund, Equality Fund adopted a three-part strategy: 

  1. grant-making for  feminist movements and organizations; 
  2. gender lens investing; 
  3. mobilizing resources from the philanthropic sector.

Download the report to Equality Fund

Research Reports